A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston concerns what he does in the clinic, the food he enjoys and how he exercises.

Tweetie's chiropractic adjustment by Preston

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston was last updated on 9th November, 2021.

This is only to be read if you are very bored!

Folk keep asking me what chiropractors actually do in their clinics? What do they eat? How much do I exercise? So, if you are exceedingly bored, here's a fairly typical day in my life; Saturday, 22 May 2010, to be precise. Yes, there's been a bit of water under the bridge since then but never mind; this is still worth a read if you are thoroughly out of your mind.

Do you really want to know? Single minded and unconventional, quite unselfconscious and she who must be obeyed would tell you often maddeningly exasperating.

4am is when a day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston often begins.

It's nearly midsummer in Holland and already the blackbirds are disturbing the peace, but what a beautiful sound; it's my wake up call.

I start the day dreamily, still half asleep, doing my back exercises, they take only two to three minutes, and I never miss them. My back will immediately start creaking in the clinic if I miss doing them; one of the little disciplines that saves me, and could save you, a lot of pain. You can get the very basic ones from a series of emails called chiropractic tips at our sister site, chiropractic help. They're free.

More advanced pelvic stabilisation exercises require careful teaching and monitoring. Ask your chiropractor. 

Hip hike exercise by Bernard Preston
  • Chiropractic tips

Bed prayers may be dead prayers but I always spend ten minutes thanking the good Lord that I have yet another day to enjoy on the planet. I base it on the disciples' prayer, remembering friends and family, and the odd patient in grave difficulty. Like a woman who two weeks ago had both breasts amputated - from taking hormones in the menopause. Madness on the part of her doctor who assured her there was no danger; but then there's Chiropractic iatrogenic illness.

Onze Vader in de hemel

Wij eren uw heilige naam.

Laat uw koninkrijk spoedig komen

Laat uw wil op de aarde worden gedaan.

Geef ons vandaag onze eten.

Vergeef ons onze zonden, net zoals wij anderen vergeven.

Laat ons niet in verleiding komen, en verlos ons van de kwade machten.

Het koninkrijk is van u, de kracht en de glorie, tot alle eeuwigheid.


Recognise it? This is where I cut my teeth on the Dutch grammar.

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston was just another day at the coalface, written some ten years ago.

At "may Thy Kingdom come" I find myself praying that my granddaughters, only 1 and 3, will one day become fully fledged citizens of the Kingdom of Jesus. Crazy, but I whispered a little prayer for their spouses-to-be. I wonder if I'll ever meet them? Get to their weddings?

I also added a prayer for Pope Francis, the only person who can change the wave of Catholic Sex Abuse scandals that is sweeping the Church. A married priesthood? Perhaps the ordination of Roman Catholic Woman priest Longithano (sp?) yesterday in Rome is the first crack in the papal woodwork since Pope Hildebrand committed the great heresy in 1024 by excommunicating all married priests. CATHOLIC SEX ABUSE ...

Zimbabwe was also there in my thoughts and prayers. Lord have mercy...


Black tea and fruit for Bernard

Or here, if you are a Youtube fan, for my basic lumbar exercises.

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston

I always start the day with a litre of weak black tea to which I add a little fruit. Grapefruit this morning. I refuse to drink tea-bag tea, it taste so terrible, so it's loose Ceylon tea for me. If you really like tea, make the change; you'll be astonished at the difference. It really is worth it despite the schlep of tea-leaves. A lot cheaper too.

And thence to the computer, mug in hand, check the emails, reply to a few of your queries at Chiropractic-Help.com and on to the last edit of my next book, Stones in my Clog. My editor likes the book but she wants a few changes in Ch 20. The Blood stone, a story about a blood-diamond merchant, a patient of mine. Well, no longer, Camile was murdered...

The final editing of the manuscript is done. You can read a few snippets at Stones in my Clog... and for a measly $2.99 you can download it as a pdf and read it in the bath! STONES IN MY CLOG

Update: Stones is complete, and you can download it direct onto your computer or iphone from Amazon.

Stones in my clog by Bernard Preston

07.00 am BREAKFAST

Preston breakfast with hummus and strawberries

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston is for reading only if you are very bored. It tells of a typical Saturday morning in the clinic followed by a cycle along the Maas river and past one of the loveliest windmills in Holland.

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston always starts with a healthy breakfast.

She who must be obeyed is calling for tea, and I join her in bed with my breakfast.

Muesli containing oats, corn, barley, rye and wheat flakes, dried fruit, honey, soya lecithin, linseed... We like it sweeter so we add a spoon of raisins instead of sugar and a handful of nuts. Always walnuts in Holland, and I like a few hazelnuts and almonds too. I do not have high blood pressure, but there's interesting research. 

Then there are 4-5 fresh strawberries; researchers promise me strawberries will save my eyesight, and reduce the chances of me getting cancer and arthritis... I hope so!


I find I'm famished by 11am at the Chiropractic Coalface if I don't have a little protein, so this morning I add a good spoonful of hummus. Helen thinks I'm crazy, and turns up her nose at the smell of the garlic... yes, the odd patient does complain! 

Authentic hummus recipe ... make it in five minutes. It stays with you all morning.

"If the only tool you have is a hammer,

you tend to see every problem as a nail."

- Abraham Maslow

Top it with a good dollop of thick Dutch yoghurt, and I'm all set for the morning. It's going to be stressful...

Tip: If muesli gives you indigestion, first soak it in boiling water for half an hour... and maybe even nuke it for one minute.

After a quick shower, I cycle to the clinic, it's only three minutes, I have no intention of wasting my life, short as it is, sitting and fuming in traffic!

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston.


A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston

Mrs S is doing fine. She first consulted me about a year ago with chronic bridge of the foot pain. An orthopaedic surgeon told her it was arthritis, and there was nothing to be done. She must live with the pain. What nonsense; she does have a bit of arthritis, true, but the cause of the pain is a cuboid subluxation, not primarily the degenerative change.

Otherwise she wouldn't have responded the way she has. She reported that wearing a clog in theatre where she's a nursing sister, gave her pain for one day, but the next day, in a normal shoe, she was fine again. Can you imagine that? Is there any other country in the world where you might go into theatre in clogs? They don't like getting our blood on their own shoes and the special shoe covers are too slippery so they wear classic Dutch wooden footwear during operations.

I also have on her on some cartilage support nutrition. The easiest are a chicken bones bouillon and either freshly ground flaxseed or plenty of fatty seafood. The latter is easy in Holland with mackerel, salmon and herring at the fish markets, but quite a lot of Dutch people don't like those slippery ocean creatures. That's a problem, but they do have plenty of walnuts, another rich source of omega three.

You can always use the search this site function for more information on flaxseed, chicken bones, sacroiliac joint treatment and so on.

Her husband has had no low back or neck pain; that's what  brought him to the clinic initially, but he has started getting right jaw joint, or is it ear pain? It's causing discomfort on the side of his face, and migraine type headaches. We'll fix it. 

TMJ ear pain can be a diagnostic mystery in part because of the wide distribution of the trigeminal nerve.

They come regularly every six weeks and are heartbroken; I broke the news that I'm retiring to in three months time. It's going to be hard for me too; I'm going to miss these lovely Dutch people.

A twenty eight year old young attorney insists on only coming for a consultation when she has pain. Right sacroiliac joint treatment is needed again, and she too tells me she has pain in her ear. The ear nose and throat specialist told her it's her jaw joint. A routine exam and, yes, I agree. Drat, I missed it, or she never told me; it's been painful for over two years.
A butcher in town brings me a memory stick with some photos of normal hyaline cartilage from a young pig. That pleases me, I can use them on what I call the second most important page at chiropractic help. I treat him for a carpal tunnel syndrome that's doing fine. It's not cured but it's not waking him at night any more. Eighty percent better he said. Chiropractic doesn't always help with carpal tunnel syndrome, but it usually does. The median nerve is being irritated as it passes between the two heads of a muscle in his forearm called pronator teres.

There's nothing simple about a carpal tunnel case file like these.

Find the links to those topics highlighted in bold by copying and pasting into the Site Search function in the navigation bar above. 

8.40 Mr T is doing fine. He first consulted me six months ago, looking like the learning tower of Pisa. He's doing the rehab exercises faithfully, and I upgraded him to Pelvic Stabilisation, level 3, and we agreed to extend the time between consultations to 7 weeks.He irritates me. He likes to park his bright red Ferrari just outside the clinic where he knows I can see it! The Netherlands is a wealthy well-run country with only 6% unemployment, and it's dropping according to the latest figures. Upper leg, thigh and groin pain.

8.50 Catch up time. I treat 5 patients per hour, and usually need the extra ten minutes for the unexpected. Miss P's TMJ. I take in a deep breath, and turn on Classic FM, the best internet radio station in the whole world! A DAY IN THE LIFE OF CHIROPRACTOR BERNARD PRESTON must allow for music.

9.00 Mr N's sciatica is fine. For years I didn't think Chiropractic could help a patient who had ONLY leg pain, with no back pain, but I was wrong. I've now got it figured... LEG PAIN SCIATICA ...

But the frozen shoulder that he has suffered with for three years is only 25% better after ten treatments (same time as his leg pain sciatica) so I recommend he consult my colleague for a second opinion, and some exercises. FROZEN SHOULDER ...

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston

9.10: Mr P has one of the worst degenerative backs and necks I have ever treated. At 53 he's been laid off work, permanently disabled; and actually is doing far better with Chiropractic than expected.

I don't adjust his neck, he did not respond well, but instead use a mobilising technique; and gentle "Thompson drops" on his low back. He is very happy, and comes once a month for maintenance. He is very faithful about the rehab exercises. He confirms they make an enormous difference. Find his story using DEGENERATIVE LUMBAR DISC DISEASE CASEFILE in Site Search.

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston

9.20. Mrs B, the above patient's daughter is 29-year old. She has had severe midthoracic pain that radiates around the ribcage to her breast-bone for two years, despite various medical treatments. Her father convinced her to come; fortunately she doesn't have the scoliosis and the degeneration that Papa has. She was a new patient about a month ago and is doing very well. Careful examination revealed a condition called TIETZES SYNDROME CaseFile; find it using Site Search.

9.30. Mrs T still has some pain in her ankle. Of course but, considering the seriousness of the injury, she's very pleased. It had given her beans for eleven years since that nasty fall down a Dutch staircase. A whole twelve months in a cast, on and off, three months in a special traction brace and four operations. The orthopedic surgeon told her there was nothing more to be done; she has to learn to live with the pain. What nonsense! She has just spent a whole day on her feet at an amusement park, De Efteling. That she couldn't do three months ago. She could not even put her heel on the ground. Find her by typing ANKLE JOINT PAIN CaseFile into Site Search.

9.40. Mrs B is a stunningly beautiful, tall young woman who has been consulting me for four years. She dresses like a model. Very handsome! She has a difficult low back and it's far from perfect but she can function; the pain in her leg has ceased completely and the Slump Test for a pinched nerve is now negative. You can do the SLUMP TEST for Sciatica at home with the help of a second person.

Her father's had three back ops and she is trying desperately to avoid that road. We are winning. She has little pain for about three weeks after each treatment; and then it starts nagging again. She comes once a month for maintenance. A 5mm heel lift has helped for her leg length inequality (short leg). I only adjust her pelvis.


9.50 Catch up time. My secretary brings me an "op-peppertje;" a pick me up. I take a gulp of the strong black coffee and a slug from the "emmertje" (little bucket) of water.

10.00. Mr T is a new patient. A chronic low back pain, lumbar facet syndrome case. Run of the mill stuff, but he's worried. This is the first time he's had an ache running down both legs. Perhaps it's going to be more difficult... a lumbar stenosis case? LUMBAR FACET SYNDROME ...


10.40 Mrs N consulted me with a routine sacroiliac joint syndrome about a month ago. On examination it became immediately obvious that she was having significant groin pain. Then the jackpot: "This is a hereditary problem, Mrs N. Has your mother had a hip replacement?" "Oh yes, and can you also help my ten-year old son? His hip collapses under him, and he can't get out of bed sometimes because it's so painful. The orthopaedic surgeon can't find anything wrong."

10.50 Mrs N's son, Simon. The ranges of motion of his hips are grossly increased and painful. The treatment is painful. I don't like inflicting pain, but there's no way around this. "Zachte heelmeesters maken stinkende wonden." Overly gentle doctors make stinking wounds. No pain, no gain. It's not always true, but it certainly is sometimes. The lad has a mild dose of Developmental Hip Dysplasia.

  • DEVELOPMENTAL HIP DYSPLASIA; ignore it and it's certain hip arthritis.
  • Hip dysplasia Casefile ...

On thing is certain and that is a day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston was always filled with drama of one sort or another.

11.00 Mrs P had a severe slipped disc two weeks ago, barely able to walk. She's doing magically well, in the circumstances, Slump test is negative and the pain in her leg is all but gone. Now she wants me to look at her neck... she's accompanied by her dentist husband. He wants to know what it's all about... it takes time, and I'm running late. 20 minutes. Drat. SLIPPED DISK ...

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston

11.30 Baby Ghislain is doing fine, though she's nearly a year now. She doesn't like me anymore, and thinks the "activator" has a sharp needle! And she let the whole clinic know. But she sleeps through the night so her mother likes me! It was a very different story six months ago when she brought her beautiful child in for Colic Chiropractic. The next consultation will be in three months. If all goes well, the next will be six months later. Her mother is a little concerned about her foot, but I can't find anything wrong... COLIC CHIROPRACTIC ...

11.40 Mrs T has a horrible neck and back. Advanced arthritis. Her degenerative low back responds very well to Chiropractic, but her neck not. It creaks alarmingly for a woman of only 54, so I use a technique called Snags that I learnt from a Manipulative Therapist. They use our techniques, so why shouldn't I steal some of theirs! For Mrs T's neck it's better than the Chiropractic adjustment. My colleagues may burn me at the stake! DEGENERATIVE LUMBAR DISC DISEASE CaseFile ...

11.50 I'm hoping to catch up, but no, it's a further ten minutes behind. My secretary tells me anxiously that there's a new patient scheduled for 11.40, a girl of 10 with (so the schedule says: a heel spur.) Never heard of heel spur in a child before. I don't believe it. "Tell her father I should be ready for them by 12.10. My next patient is Mrs T's daughter. She just back from honeymoon and no patient to play catch-up on. Fortunately her headaches,is doing well, but still with all the chit chat, I'm running over 30 minutes behind. 

The symptoms of whiplash are legion.

12.10 I hurry the young woman out of my consulting room, only to find an empty waiting room. The irate man has left. Oh well, it was only a "kennismakingsgesprek" - a No-charge service that we offer to people who aren't sure if Chiropractic is the right treatment for them. Instead of a diagnostic nightmare - I know that child doesn't have a heel spur - I'll be home for an early lunch. I'm bushed! Seventeen patients, including a new patient is more than enough on a Saturday morning for a "bejaarde" (old man!) like me. RUNNING LATE ...

  • Retirement sentiments; what do YOU plan to do when you retire?

Every job has its trials but I can't say boredom was ever one in a day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston.

Working under pressure like this it's important to know that what we do is undergirded by chiropractic research.

13.00 LUNCH

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston

Preston lunch of moutabel baba ghannouj

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston

Helen has a delicious, but simple lunch waiting. A tomato, cheese and lettuce sandwich, and a third slice of bread with Moutabel Baba Ghannouj. Yum. She only uses olive oil or butter on bread; we refuse to eat margarines because they are hydrogenated foods loaded with trans-fats. And a glass of pomegranate juice. MOUTABEL BABA GHANNOUJ. perfect for those with raised cholesterol.

  • HYDROGENATED FOODS ... avoid them at all costs if you value your nerves and your brain.
  • Butter is back.

14.00 SNOOZE

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston

My brother has sent me a Sudoku he can't get out. It's a beast, so I prelude my snooze with half an hour of mental gymnastics. I suspect it'll take me several days. I'd be greatful for any clues! Then forty winks.

Bernard Preston loves sudoku

Very occasionally I suppose in any doctor's life you find you have more time to explore different avenues in a patient's life. Heb je geen zin in sex, asked in the clinic questionnaire, had me scratching my head, but it did enable me to delve more deeply into the painful parts of folk's lives periodically. It's in English.


A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston

It's deliciously warm. Helen and I set off on our bikes along the River Maas. Two and half glorious hours, gentle cycling, no serious stuff, sheer pleasure. This is Maastricht with the Church of our dear Lady on the skyline. A beautiful city... also the home of Andre Rieu. Never heard of him? You're missing out on something very special, and if you're ever in Holland, try catch one of his concerts in the Vrijtog. Central Park, Maastricht.

Bernard Preston's wife crossing the Maas on her bicycle.

We pass a street of houses using PE panels for tiles. How inventive the Dutch are. Tiles with Photo-Electric cells built into them, saving on the cost of tiles by building the solar collectors directly into the tile. I'm going to have that one day, I promise myself, if we ever build another house.

Update: Those tiles with PE panels are impossibly expensive in South Africa, but that moment on a Dutch street was tucked away for future reference. Three years later... solar powered generator.

Bernard Preston's solar power generator


Bernard Preston's butternut soup recipe

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston

I confess it all. Do as I say, and not as I do! It's three beers, a pile of olives and Feta cheese as a prelude to the best dinner in the world. Butternut soup, fried salmon and mushrooms. Tonight we're not having Helen's famous €15 salad. That's about five nights a week, but not tonight and, further confessions, half a 100g bar of chocolate. Wicked.

Update: Beer makes a good servant but ...

Nutritional value of mushrooms

Nutritional value of mushrooms for pale males is in particular their selenium content; great protection against the aggressive prostate cancers. Whilst not every day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston includes mushrooms, we make sure they are often on the menu. This is particularly so because we love eggs Florentine for breakfast, and eggs, usually eaten with bacon and other processed meat rather than spinach, have been strongly associated with prostate cancer.

Bernard Preston's salmon mushroom dinner
  • Olive garden menu TAPENADE
  • Growing butternut squash (winter squash) and a soup recipe.
  • Ways to cook salmon
  • Nutritional value of mushrooms

It's now six years later and we still enjoy these diverse foods though the fresh salmon is not available. Growing lemon trees, and a lime too, is a feature of our South African garden. Usually there would be an avocado from one of our three trees. Olives won't grow here, but avocado oil is almost as good; both are fruit.


A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston

I'm not great television fan, but within one eye on the news and the other writing this page, I'm keeping up with all that's happening in the world. And finally watching Andrew Lloyd Webber breaking the hearts of two young girls, but we do have a brave young finalist from over the rainbow, don't we? Good choice, viewers.

How about one last great musical, Andrew? Is Tim Rice still about? Perhaps you two could set your differences aside for the great benefit of mankind, and leave the world with just one more gem; or perhaps two? You're not over the rainbow, you know, Andrew. I reckon there must be at least another half a dozen great musicals still waiting in your fertile brain to be written. After all, Michelangelo didn't stop until he was over 85.

And I'm not planning to either. A Family Affair is nearly done, and the man who would be pope is waiting for me to put pen to paper.


Our newsletter is entitled "create a cyan zone" at your home, preserving both yourself and Mother Earth for future generations; and your family too, of course. We promise not to spam you with daily emails promoting various products. You may get an occasional nudge to buy one of my books.

Here are the back issues.

  • Lifestyle and ideal body weight
  • What are ultra-processed foods?
  • Investing in long-term health
  • Diseases from plastic exposure
  • Intensive lifestyle management for obesity has limited value
  • A world largely devoid of Parkinson's Disease
  • The impact of friendly bacteria in the tum on the prevention of cancer
  • There's a hole in the bucket
  • Everyone is talking about weight loss drugs
  • Pull the sweet tooth
  • If you suffer from heartburn plant a susu
  • Refined maize meal and stunting
  • Should agriculture and industry get priority for water and electricity?
  • Nature is calling
  • Mill your own flour
  • Bake your own sourdough bread
  • Microplastics from our water
  • Alternative types of water storage
  • Wear your clothes out
  • Comfort foods
  • Create a bee-friendly environment
  • Go to bed slightly hungry
  • Keep bees
  • Blue zone folk are religious
  • Reduce plastic waste
  • Family is important
  • What can go in compost?
  • Grow broad beans for longevity
  • Harvest and store sunshine
  • Blue zone exercise
  • Harvest and store your rainwater
  • Create a cyan zone at your home

It's 10pm and time for bed and book; two actually, and that Sudoku.

A day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston comes to an end. It's been a long day. I read another dozen pages of Lady Chatterley's lover. I'm up to the bit when she announces to her lover, the gamekeeper that she's three months pregnant with his child. Helen says it's a purely male fantasy that any woman would be enamored if a man pounced on her. Only a male could have written such drivel. Well, I think D.H. Lawrence is a great writer, his dialogue is superb but even now it's still a scandalous book, written purposefully I suppose to shock. That it did, and still does.

I try to read a bit from the Bible each day, and bit incongruous after Lawrence. Today it's from the gospel of John. I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life; chapter 5 and verse 24. That's either true, or Jesus was the greatest con artist to ever walk through the pages of this world. There's no in between, is there?

I'm starting to yawn, but can I find another ten minutes with that drat sudoku? Ah, I find a triple. Column 2, Row 7 must be a 9. And finally, I'm asleep before my head hits the pillow. That folks was a fairly typical day in the life of chiropractor Bernard Preston. Only I didn't eat an apple today; I do most days.

Slaap gerust!

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56 Groenekloof Rd,

Hilton, KZN

South Africa